Legal Records

Personal Finance April 11, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
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Although you may change your will whenever you wish, there are three basic reasons to consider revising it:

  • There has been a change in your life.
  • There has been a change in the law.
  • You have changed your mind about specific provisions (for example, including or excluding a friend or family member to be a beneficiary of your property).

Life events that may trigger the need to update your will, trust, living will, powers of attorney, or other estate- or end-of-life planning documents include:

  • Birth of children or grandchildren
  • Death of a loved one
  • Changes in tax, estate, probate, or trust laws
  • A major change in your financial circumstances
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Relocation to a new state

For example, if the person you designated for your power of attorney dies or if you decide to choose someone else, you’ll want to update that document.

You may need to change your living will if you move to another state, where legal provisions may differ from those in the state from which you moved.

Check and update your military service records when activated or annually (if you’re in the career service) and make sure your summary of benefits is accurate.

Every 10 years, update your passport.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.